Now I realise that either updating my graphics or cpu will make my computer faster but which will give me the best bang for my buck? If I update my graphics will I bottlenecking b'c of my cpu? There doesn't seem to be any sort of list for graphics pared with cpu's. If anyone could give me some advice I would be very appreciative. If I was going to update my CPU I would prob go i5/i7, which means new motherboard/ram. I use the computer for gaming and general use but no video encoding or picture editing.
Well what is more important? If gaming is then I recommend a new gfx card.
Since your mobo can crossfire, I would get another 4850, if you don't or can't for some reason, I would upgrade at least to a 4890.
I would not get the CPU upgrade, upgrading to a new processor family (ie. C2D -> i7) needs a new mobo & RAM. If you're having problems with your CPU I would get a new PC.
It can crossfire but the second slot only gets 4xPCIe1 so its kinda pointless. So you don't think my CPU will slowdown a 4890 or higher? I think my CPU is slowly getting degraded, I have had to drop it back from 3.2Ghz to 3 and now to 2.9. Stock it runs at 1.86Ghz so its been a pretty massive overclock for the best part of 3 years. If it will last out another gpu upgrade ill prob keep it, otherwise I can retire it to a HTPC.
Yeah, don't CF on 965/P35. You still have a semi decent chip close to 3GHz so I'm not sure I'd bother with the CPU upgrade. Running a 965 board there aren't many you can upgrade to. (45NM chips are out for you.) Your resolution is pretty high, so I'd just get the GPU upgrade.
Hmm that is a good question.. On one hand a new gfx card will give you a boost in games. I am assuming you are looking for gaming performance. However, you are at that fork in the road where a base system upgrade would do you some good. Personally, if you have a buyer that will take your mobo, cpu, memory, off your hands for a few bucks it may be worth it to sell and upgrade now. However, if you don't have a way to unload that stuff you might want to just save your money until later after the new year sometime and rebuild.
Whats with this CF crap? You shouldn't CF on a 965/P35 board. The second lane is 4x, and will slow everything down. The OP knows this, stop mentioning it. As a 965 he can run the original 65nm C2D chips. He should also be able to run the Q6600. Other then that, I'm not sure any of the new 45nm C2Ds will run, and I'm very sure the 45nm Quads will NOT work. If he can find a cheap 4890 that would be great. Use it now, and it can carry over to a new build. Same with the new 5xxx cards.
Thanks guys, this seems to be an area where no one really knows a definitive answer. Maybe Tom's should have a list where gpu's and cpu's are matched up so people can have balanced systems and if you are a gamer you could just bump up your graphics card a couple of places. All my old equipment goes to my girlfriends computer for a token price and her stuff will go into a htpc that is slowly getting built. My board will unofficially support 45nm chips but if I was going to upgrade I would want to go to the i5/i7 architecture as I don't think I'm going to see a huge improvement in performance staying with the C2D, the chips seem to max out at around 3Ghz and the quads would prob get too hot to even get that far. I think at this stage I will try and get a 5870 when they drop to a more realistic price unless anyone can point me towards a guide on the matter, or has any other suggestions?